July 20, 2023
OPEN LETTER: UBCIC Resolution 2023-19 “Call to Strengthen Animal Farming Practices and Address the Significant Environmental Impacts of Factory Farming”
Dear Minister Bibeau and Minister Alexis:
We are writing with respect to Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) Resolution 2023-19 “Call to Strengthen Animal Farming Practices and Address the Significant Environmental Impacts of Factory Farming” which was presented, affirmed, and endorsed unanimously at the UBCIC Chiefs Council on June 8, 2023 (enclosed).
By Resolution 2023-19, the UBCIC Chiefs Council fully rejects the current legal and regulatory landscape of factory farming and the lack of accountability and oversight of generally accepted practices of animal management and protections on factory farms, and the lack of available funding to support better animal welfare practices.
The UBCIC Chiefs Council calls on Canada and BC to work with First Nations to co-develop legislation and regulations in alignment with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples that reduce the impacts of climate change and habitat loss due to factory farming, and reduce the risk of disease and suffering of animals on factory farms, and that provide funding to communities in order to support the transition to better animal welfare practices more aligned with a cruelty-free stance toward animals.
In addition, the UBCIC Chiefs Council calls on Canada and BC to work with First Nations farmers and ranchers to support First Nations farmers and ranchers who have been impacted by climate change, including forest fires, catastrophic floods and habitat degradation so that First Nations may continue to exercise their inherent title and rights over their territories and caring for animals in those territories, including through farming, with respect, reciprocity, and dignity, as they have always done.
We look forward to your response and seek a meeting on next steps.
On behalf of the UNION OF BC INDIAN CHIEFS
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip
Chief Don Tom
Chief Marilyn Slett
CC: UBCIC Chiefs Council
Deputy Minister Peter Pokorny, Ministry of Agriculture and Food
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
National Farm Animal Care Council
Animal Welfare Foundation of Canada
Animal Alliance of Canada
Humane Society International
Encl: UBCIC Resolution 2023-19 “Call to Strengthen Animal Farming Practices and Address the Significant Environmental Impacts of Factory Farming”